Kentia Palm Indoor Plant is pet-friendly and recommended for green thumb beginners. Photo by Angelique Ute.

Caring for a house plant is somewhat similar to pet care; one must feed it, wash it, provide water, and trim the necessary parts. It’s gratifying to have something to care for, something to watch grow in time. It’s nice to see green, pink, yellow, or any color grow more and more loud. It may not need as much attention as a dog or a cat, but a house plant needs your commitment. Having a plant can benefit your mental health in many ways. 

Audrey Bederka, senior at Franklin High School, is a fellow green thumb and also sees the benefits of taking care of houseplants. The start of the pandemic helped them find some coping mechanisms: “I started collecting plants a year or two ago. There were some plants that didn’t make it, but I’m proud of myself for taking care of the other ones. It feels good to take care of something.” Even during a difficult time, caring for a plant improved mental health for many green thumbs and beginners alike. “I think having plants is a lot of fun, and I’ve found that snake plants are always easy to care for, and they look super pretty too,” they say. Bederka notes that many will make mistakes, but perseverance and patience are very huge benefits! 

Senior Makye Hall cares for plants and is surrounded by low-maintenance plants. “I think it can benefit your mental health because it’s a healthy hobby that can help relieve anxiety,”they  say. Most find comfort with plants in their rooms or living rooms. Hall enjoys decorating their rooms with plants, stating the refreshing upside: “Having any plant of your choice can give a healthy environment look in your house which helps with emotional benefits. Considering some people are vegan and can [use plants] as a food source, plants also boost air quality in your house and can help with creativity,” Hall adds.

The houseplant I take care of is called a pothos, a plant that is aggressive and climbs any surface you put it next to. Sadly, it’s very hard to control and many people begin to care less. They require tender handling, but are very dangerous for nearby trees and other plants outdoors. If loved enough, the pothos plant will take off and climb any surface you desire it to.

For beginners, the best plant to start with would be the spider plant. For this particular plant, it would do best in a hanging basket and will grow long, sword-like leaves. They thrive best in bright rooms and tables. If the tips of the leaves begin to dry and turn brown, it means your room air is too dry. If you can care for a spider plant, consider yourself a plant master.

Having to care for a plant can improve personal growth and mood. It’s refreshing to see growth every week, and a motivation for more self-discovery could benefit you; almost as if a new leaf represents a step towards your goal. Plants can live up to decades if taken care of; as long as they are cared for they will show progress. Green represents life and pure air, so please give it a try! 

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